The traditional media are starting to observe that Comedy Central's The Daily Show is becoming an increasingly popular source for actual news coverage.
And in response, they're turning to The Daily Show for inspiration.
In the New York Times, Frank Rich points out that MSNBC has started to use Daily Show-style video editing techniques:
On "Countdown," a nightly news hour on MSNBC, the anchor, Keith Olbermann, led off with a bit in the classic style of Stewart's classic "Daily Show": a rapid-fire montage of sharply edited video bites illustrating the apparent idiocy of those in Washington.But The Daily Show is not just leading the way on matters of style. It actually has a solid grasp on the transformation of the news media, while many old-guard outlets remain in denial.
In response to the blogosphere's digging into former CNN news chief Eason Jordan's remarks at Davos, which eventually culminated in Jordan's resignation, some traditional pundits were indignant.
On February 10, Wall Street Journal editorial writer Bret Stephens airily dismissed the bloggers' efforts:
There's a reason the hounds are baying. Already they have feasted on the juicy entrails of Dan Rather. Mr. Jordan, whose previous offenses (other than the general tenor of CNN coverage) include a New York Times op-ed explaining why access is a more important news value than truth, was bound to be their next target. And if Mr. Jordan has now made a defamatory and unsubstantiated allegation against U.S. forces, well then . . . open the gates.Others were less reserved. Steve Lovelady, managing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review's website, was quoted in the New York Times as saying, "The salivating morons who make up the lynch mob prevail." And Bertrand Pecquerie, the director of the World Editors Forum, the editors’ organization within the World Association of Newspapers, wrote (on his blog, ironically), "Within the honest community of bloggers, some of them claimed to be the 'sons of the First Amendment', they were just the sons of Senator McCarthy."
In contrast to these splenetic outbursts by members of the mainstream media, The Daily Show's response was a model of rationality. When it comes to blogs, they "get it" -- probably because, like blogs, the Daily Show reflects and responds to ordinary people's exasperation with traditional news coverage.
In this video clip, which may be the funniest thing you watch all day, Daily Show "Senior Media Correspondent" Steven Colbert pre-emptively scoops the blogosphere by revealing his real name.
Steven -- um, I mean, Ted -- points out that bloggers "have no credibility. All they have is facts."
They're reporting on the reporters. The first rule of journalism is: Don't talk about journalism. Or maybe that's Fight Club. But my point is, these guys have got to learn, you don't report on reporters. Nobody likes a snitch.As one prominent blogger himself might remark, "Indeed."